Honeywell International Inc. last week announced that it plans to build a research and development facility for its Honeywell Intelligrated warehouse automation business to meet growing demand for technologies that enable faster, more accurate supply chains.
The new testing and training facility will have more than 150,000 sq. ft. (14,000 sq. m) and be built on Honeywell's campus in Brno, Czech Republic. It is already home to Honeywell's R&D hub for Central and Eastern Europe. The company said it expects to open the new center in mid-2022.
“For businesses and consumers alike, expectations regarding e-commerce and logistics have changed rapidly, spurred on by the impact of COVID-19,” said Ben Cardwell, president of Honeywell Intelligrated. “This means a growing reliance on cutting-edge technologies that can automate and accelerate distribution centers, warehouses, and other parts of the supply chain. The emerging technologies we are developing in Brno will help meet that demand head on.”
Honeywell expands European capabilities
Honeywell said the new facility will enable its hardware and software engineers to design, prototype, and test warehouse automation innovations. Logistics companies will then use them to improve the accuracy, efficiency and throughput of packages within distribution centers and warehouses, it said.
The R&D facility will extend Honeywell's warehouse automation capabilities in Central and Eastern Europe. Earlier this year, Honeywell Intelligrated opened a advanced manufacturing site in Chorzów, Poland, where many of the systems being developed at Brno will be assembled.
The company said its Brno facility will be Honeywell's first European test and development site for its portfolio of digitally enabled technologies for supply chains. They include spans conveyors, sortation systems, palletizers, and robotics, automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), warehouse software, and voice- and light-directed picking technologies.
Once the facility is fully operational, warehouse and logistics companies from across Europe can use it to test, prototype, and train on Honeywell's technologies to help them maintain an advantage in an increasingly dynamic and competitive market, said the company.
Toward the latter part of 2022, Honeywell will open a customer training facility at the new site. The company said it will hire dozens of highly skilled technical specialists over the next 18 months as the facilities come online.
About Honeywell Intelligrated
Honeywell Intelligrated provides warehouse automation for the retail, wholesale, e-commerce, food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical and medical supply, third-party logistics, and postal and parcel industries. It claimed that 60 of the top 100 global retailers and 50 of the top 100 e-commerce retailers rely on its materials handling systems.
Honeywell acquired Intelligrated in 2016, and the Mason, Ohio-based unit recently announced a new ASRS.
Honeywell Intelligrated is now part of Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS), which provides mobile devices, software, cloud technology, and automation, as well as personal protective equipment and gas-detection technology. It also offers custom-engineered sensors, switches, and controls.